5 Benefits of Patient Surveyors

February 23, 2018

Patient SurveyorOver the past year, Accreditation Canada (AC) and its affiliate Health Standards Organization (HSO) have been working hard to put people at the centre of everything we do, and to partner effectively with patients and families.

We are motivated by our People Powered Health philosophy, which aims to include people in everything we do to achieve quality health services for all. We believe that including patients as lived experience experts, as patient partners, surveyors, and as people is important to the development of standards and how they are assessed.

AC has 14 trained patient surveyors available to participate on accreditation surveys as of March 2018. We have found that the combined expertise of health care leaders and patients on a survey team leads to a strengthened overall assessment of health care quality and safety.

Find out 5 benefits of having patient surveyors on your accreditation survey team:

1. Are lived experience experts:

Patients are actively using health care services. The unique perspective – of someone accessing care – allows them to detect strengths and weaknesses in terms of how services are offered and accessed in your organization. They help to identify key improvement areas.

2. Relate better to other patients and families:

Patient surveyors are peers to other patients.

They are ideally placed to generate meaningful discussions with other patients and families to deepen understanding of patient experiences within the organization and of services that are being assessed. As patients themselves, they are able to draw greater insights and more poignant recommendations for quality improvement.

3. Are key players in implementing a People-Centred Care approach:

Having a patient on a survey team is consistent with Qmentum standards and a People-Centred Care approach.

This fact acknowledges the important role that patients play as co-producers of health at the direct care, organizational and system levels.

4. Are game changers:

Having a patient as a surveyor provides unique, first-hand insight.

When patients are present and are actively engaged in the accreditation process, discussions and resulting actions are better focused on the ultimate goal of creating better quality and safe health care.

5. Add validity to feedback:

Having a patient surveyor on the accreditation surveyor team brings all aspects of the health care system together.

Pairing the unique patient lived experience with the expertise of peer surveyors who are leaders in their clinical and/or administrative capacities allows you to conduct a more comprehensive assessment of your organization; to learn more about what needs to improve and also, bringing more relevancy to the feedback that is provided.

The role of patient surveyors was co-designed with all stakeholders: patient partners, surveyors, client organizations, and AC staff. As part of the co-design process, four tests of change were conducted in 2017.

In May 2017, Centre intégré de santé et de services sociaux (CISSS) des Laurentides, in Saint-Jérôme, Que., was one of the first organizations to have a patient surveyor present during its accreditation survey.

Marie Laplante, Senior Advisor, Risk, Quality and Performance at CISSS des Laurentides, said at the time that the patient surveyor experience was positive, and shone light on issues from a unique, patient-centred perspective.

“We know that the accreditation survey has an impact on all of our services,” Laplante said. “Adding the patient partner element to it really adds value to the accreditation process.”

Do you want to become accredited? Do you want to know more about AC’s patient surveyors? Get in touch with us today.